DPSU in ‘full support’ of new minimum wage says Letang

DPSU General Secretary, Thomas Letang

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas says the union is in full support of the increase in the country’s minimum wage which will take effect from September 1, 2021.

Minister of National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore who made the announcement last week, said the new minimum wage is in line with the current market situation and realities of Dominicans.

“I am happy and the Dominica Public Service Union is happy that the minimum wage has been increased and we believe that it is within a range where employers can afford to pay without having to send home staff and without the closure of businesses,” Letang said during a recent interview.

He continued, “The review of the wage increase is something that the Dominica Public Service Union had been really requesting for a very long time, so we were happy when a committee was established to review the minimum wage. And the committee which I was part of we met several times and it involved a lot of intensive research.”

The union boss is referring there to the tripartite committee consisting of representatives of the private sector, the government and the unions, which was set up in 2019 to review the minimum wage and to make recommendations to the minister responsible for labour. The committee presented its report to government in 2020.

He said the union is pleased that the recommendations that were submitted to the government have been accepted and approved, “and as the minister indicated the minimum wage is the lowest that should be paid or can be paid to an employee, but there is nothing wrong for somebody to pay more than the minimum wage.”

Letang pointed out that most employers in Dominica have, in fact, been paying more than the minimum wage.

“When we look at the last time there was a review one would argue that it has been a very long time,” he stated.

In anticipation of possible criticism from some people that given the last time there was a review, the revised minimum wage should be more, Letang explained that one has to take into consideration that employers’ ability to pay must be part of the discussion.

The state of the economy, he suggested, must be part of the discussion, “and you have to look at the trend of businesses; what has happened over the past few years in terms of businesses expanding or closing. All these things have to be taken into consideration.”

The new approved minimum wages for the various categories of workers are as  follows:

Agricultural workers and labourers in the agricultural sector from $4.00 per hour to $7.50 per hour, daily paid workers and tourism workers from $4.50 per hour to $7.50 per hour,  juveniles/trainees from $3.60 per hour to $5.67 per hour, cashiers/ receptionists from $5.50 per hour to $7.25 per hour, sales persons from $5.50 per hour to $7.25 per hour. Shop assistance from $4.50 per hour to $6.75 per hour, home assistance with meals from $125 per week to $200 per week, home assistance without meals $143.75 per week to $250 per week and living-in home assistance from $142.50 per week to $220 per week.

Minister Blackmoore has said that the new minimum wage order which covers the existing category of workers covered by the 2008 order, will  be extended to include new categories.

The new categories, with the corresponding rates, include cooks, $7.25 per hour, bartenders $7.24 per hour, servers $7.24 per hour, room attendance $7.24 per hour, grounds men $7.24 per hour, public area assistance $7.24 per hour, vehicle drivers/ messengers $7.50 per hour, security guards $8.00 per hour and other unskilled workers such as labourers in the construction industry and handymen, $7.50 per hour.

The tripartite committee of which Letang was a part had recommended that a review of the minimum wage be done every three years. Backmoore has indicated that the latest review may be seen as a first step of an annual bilateral review undertaken to refine the minimum wage and to monitor the effects of the new wage.

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24 Comments

  1. Lin clown
    July 15, 2021

    Would like to ask IBO the SMART what is the minimum wage (officially) in the mighty USA?One person cannot survive on an 8 hour a day minimum wage in the USA.In Dominica very few people work overtime, and they survive.There are more POOR DOMINICANS in the USA than there are in Dominica.There are more Dominicans who cannot pay their rent in the USA than in Dominica.There are more single
    Dominican mothers living in the USA than Dominica.There are more Dominican home owners that there are in the USA.In Dominica there is one hour PAID lunch in an 8 hour day.In the USA one is not paid for lunch hour,most lunch is a half hour which is not paid for.EXAMPLE 5 days at 8 hrs is 40 hrs.5 days x 1/2 hour lunch is 2 1/2 hours.2 1/2 hours is deducted from 40 hrs and paid 37 1/2 hrs.Overtime is added to regular hours lunch is deducted ,from that amount 40 regular hrs is deducted rest is overtime.48 hrs a week instead of 8 hrs overtime you get paid 5 .That is the USA.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      July 17, 2021

      lbo may not be able to answer your question, regarding the minimum wage in America, but I am sure you do not know either!

      lbo may not need my help, but I will take it on my own to tell who don’t know, unless the minimum came via federal law, the minimum across the United States varies.

      Check out the following you know nothing Clown:
      Minimum Wage Rates for 2020 Listed by State!

      Alabama: $7.25 (federal minimum wage, no state minimum)
      Alaska: $10.19
      Arizona: $12.00
      Arkansas: $10.00
      California: $13.00 (Employers with 25 or fewer employees have one year to comply.)
      Colorado: $12.00
      Connecticut: $11.00 ($12.00 September 2020)
      Delaware: $9.25
      District of Columbia: $15.00
      Want to know more; asks me you despicable clown!

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        July 17, 2021

        I hate to do this; but that damn guy talk so much nonsense, I don’t know why he can’t see the need to check himself into and asylum, something is wrong with him mentally.
        In America, it does not matter what time of day one start their days work, you get a fifteen (15) minuets brake to eat breakfast, then at lunch, one gets an hour for lunch, in the afternoon prior to the end of the work day, there is another fifteen (15) minuets brake; by the end of the eight hour you leave.
        So, one gets 1.5 hours paid time to eat, it is all part of one days pay.

        Where it pertains to overtime, if one starts working prior to the regular hour, they are paid overtime; if one work pass the regular work hour you are paid time and half (1.5) time regular pay, if you work on a holiday your pay doubles; double time from the start.

        The fart that foolish person talk should choke him!

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    July 14, 2021

    Shame on you Thomas; I fail to see how you can be happy or give support to what seems to be starvation salary.
    There is no pleasure in that, considering that still represents the lowest of minimum wage in the Caribbean.
    Not the following:
    This means a person working for  $7.50 X 40 = $300.00.

    One working  working for $7.25 X 40 = $290.00
    The person working for $5.65 X 40 =  $226.00

    By the same token one paid $7.24 X 40 = $289.60. If Dominicans are in the real world and pay’s “pay as you earn income tax;” in a addition to their contribution into social security, which must be extracted prior to the person receiving they cheque; what will their take home pay be?

    You are not the kind of guy who should be representing any person in the nation work force.
    In Antigua domestic servants earns $120.00 per day, which means they are paid fifteen dollars per hour!

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      July 14, 2021

      A minimum wage means the lowest wage per hour that a worker may be paid, as mandated by governmental law, and  is a legally mandated price floor on hourly wages.
      Now this thing in home assistance, and food and all that is nothing more than a burden on the sick; nobody is obligated to feed a worker; only in Dominica perhaps!

      Therefore the worker wage should be enough so that they can manage to buy their own food.

      There should be a minimum wage where everyone receive the same amount and not the garbage that is written here!
      The minimum wage in Dominica should be no less than EC$16.00 per hour, across the board, guaranteeing an unskilled person a forty (40) hour work week of  $640.00.

      Roosevelt makes more than that per day right?

      It is time that our people get  respected; and pay what their exchange for labor is worth!
      Minimum wage people pay the same for sugar, gasoline, fish meat detergent and every commodity!

      • July 15, 2021

        “There should be a minimum wage where everyone receives the same amount and not the garbage that is written here!”—Telemaque, I sincerely agree with you here, for me, that “write-up” sounded like a lot of foolishness and confusion.

        But what do you mean by $16.00 an hour for minimum wage? $640.00 a week is $2560.00 a month (4weeks). Do you know who gets minimum wage for employment? They are people with no working skills at their time of employment–they learn as they go.

        $2560.00 for 4weeks has to be way above the average salary of teachers in Dominica, for example; would you really give that amount to an unskilled worker? Man, you are really full of madness, wee!

        • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
          July 16, 2021

          Elizabeth, notice I got three thumbs down, while you receive the same; the idiots believe we are against them you; they prefer to for change that cannot even buy peanuts.

          Any way: Sixteen $16.00 dollars per hour times eight; that is: $16.00 X 8 = $128.00 per day, so assuming that person works five days per week: 5 X 128 = $640.00.
          Whereas people such as Astaphan and other merchants have people working all day Saturday, if you add another $128.00 + $640.00 = $768.00; if we deduct 10% of that for social security, and income tax that would mean $768.00 X 10/100 = $76.80 cents approximately.

          So the worker would take home approximately $691.20; what is wrong with that baby?

          Nobody should profit from the sweet and blood of the working class and not compensate them fairly.
          And indeed Elizabeth I would pay unskilled people that kind money; and remember teachers pay would go far beyond that!

        • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
          July 17, 2021

          I responded to this already, but I simply wish to convey to you that a minimum wage means the lowest amount of money permitted by law or by a special agreement such as one with a labor union. 

          In America where the State or Federal government dictate that nobody should be paid less than the minimum wage, if that law is violated by any employer and they get caught, they can go to jail!

          In any event very few people in America accepts minimum pay anyway; if one decides to maintain minimum pay as dictated by the law, they  may have to do their work themselves.

    • What-a-Donut
      July 16, 2021

      Look it, Albert Einstein of Wesley in person.

      • Mandy
        July 20, 2021

        Francisco, did somebody call you a DONUT, or did I misread?

  3. Lin clown
    July 14, 2021

    IBO,I listened to an uneducated supporter of UWP say”the government taking 51% for themselves and increasing people salary from $4.50 to $8.00″.As if an increase from $4.50-$8.00 is less than 51%.Typical UWP running with GOSSIP. and a high level of stupidity.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      July 16, 2021

      Shut up; you are the most uneducated person writing trash on DNO thing eh!

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      You don’t know how to write sentences, you do not have any concept of punctuation which refers to the specific markings, signs and symbols that are used in and around sentences to give them structure and to allow for correct understanding and comprehension.

      You can some of us, but the majority of us knows you are a fake, you can perhaps barely spell Lin Clown, a clown you are a clown you shall remain oui!

      You are a kindergarten graduate.

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

  4. July 14, 2021

    “but there is nothing wrong for somebody to pay more than the minimum wage.”

    Why is this statement necessary? The minimum wage is supposed to be for employment starters, employers should increase that wage as the employee gains experience–it does not matter what is the working title.

    Dominicans need to learn to broaden their thinking mind, especially those with roles to guide and inform their community.

    For example, a waitress is always a waitress–unless she is moved to a higher post at the restaurant– but if she has been working at a restaurant as a waitress for 5 years, she would have more experience than the one who just started that job, she should be paid much more than minimum wage, which is always for the new, not so trained, or part-time employee.

    I worked in the same job for 31 years; starting at minimum wage. But through experience, I became a salaried worker. This happens when an employer values the employee’s performance.

  5. Bwa-Banday
    July 14, 2021

    Tanto tanto…shak cochon nee samdi yoe! Just tell the overzealous, politically tainted DPP that time will surely tell :twisted: Dca belongs to all of us and politicians are only in office for as long as we the people permit them.

  6. Ibo France
    July 14, 2021

    The exact words of the Clown. Quote-” …..they are out of JOB and BALLS like MULTIMILLIONAIRE Using Public Servants.”

    I swear on my mother’s grave that the person who you keep referring to as BALLS has to be none other than Roosevelt ‘Parasite’ Skerrit.

  7. If we knew better
    July 14, 2021

    Increase in minimum wage will mean a rise in unemployment as well as a rise in prices. Yes workers will have to get paid more. But it will mean that employers will have to pay workers more money. How can they? they will have to either sell more items, or reduce staff. There is no guarantee that they sell more even if people will earn more, but there is a guarantee that they can save more with less staff.

    Keep in mind that because a person is paid more money, there is no guarantee that he spends more. He could be saving more.

    • Heritage
      July 14, 2021

      How about cutting their ridiculously high profit margins. That would be a start. I know what I am talking about I worked for a few years as consultant for one of those that has his fingers in every pie in DA. Some of the margins are eye watering… Dominican consumers have very rarely a choice.

      • Didi
        July 15, 2021

        You don’t know what you talking about
        What with damage cost after storms , more than 1 year no tourist and 3.5 months closing bills do not stop coming on this time and still need to pay nightwatch
        If it’s so easy why you don’t do it !??

      • If we knew better
        July 15, 2021

        If you look at many small businesses today in Dominica, many do not make that much of a profit. The profitteers that we usually hear about are the banks, credit unions and the utility companies. Many do not even know if they are even making a profit or not because they do not do any book keeping. But like you inferred, a number of small businesses have been exploiting their political connections. However, that is not my argument today. I am considering the broad spectrum of small businesses who have to struggle to make ends meet.

      • Ibo France
        July 15, 2021

        Not only their humongous salaries should be cut but the Cookie Jar Prime Minister should greatly reduce his pot belly Cabinet of Ministers. A ghost minister like Melissa Skerrit gets many thousands each month just to be an ornament in parliament while many thousands of ordinary Dominicans can’t afford to buy bread.

  8. Garcon
    July 14, 2021

    The increases are welcomed as something is always better than nothing , however, these are are still too low. In these times, people with such incomes are still unable to afford the basics to live a reasonably comfortable life. In my view, hourly rate should be no less that XCD $10.00.

    • Didi
      July 15, 2021

      We already pay more than 20y over 10$

  9. Lin clown
    July 13, 2021

    Who cares about what THOMAS BALLS LETANG support or doesn’t support.Everything BALLS touch turns to politics.Just look at what he did to the people at Public Works,go on strike,lock gate,now they are out of JOB and BALLS is living like s MILLIONAIRE.Using Public Servants.I am not surprised I have not seen a DOT about the TREATING CASE on DNO.MAYBE they were waiting for a different outcome from the DPP.

    • Marshall
      July 14, 2021

      Be quiet Reggie, we have enough of your propaganda.

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